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How my childhood shaped me

I grew up in a family of six.  Three boys (all older) and 2 girls.  One sister 10 years older and one 4 years younger.  Both parents grew up during the depression.  My father was 1 of 7 boys and my Mother an only child.   When you are raised in a family with those dynamics you get bits and pieces of those you live with.  Some good and some not so good! 

This explains why I won’t give up but I will compromise.  I am not afraid of hard work. I love running around bare foot and laying in the grass trying to pull the blades of grass out of their sleeves before it breaks. The shades of green changes colors as you pull the blade out of it’s casing.  It will eventfully turn white at the base.  I don’t mind getting dirty or working hard but I don’t like to sweat!

Our home was one of hand me downs.  And I was the 5th child.  This could explain why I like men’s Levis 501's and white v-neck t-shirts.  When things became broken and they often did, they were not discarded.  Socks were mended and clothes were made.  All the while my parents worked full time and part-time jobs.  In addition to his Federal full time job, my Dad worked  on Saturdays at a pizza parlor.  The owner let us kids come down, with our friends and eat pizza until our bellies stuck out!  I am sure this helped supplement our food bill.  That and the garden my Dad cultivate.

I got a boys bike, a 10 speed, just  like my brothers, even though my Dad was certain I would permanently injure myself….come on it was 1973!

Now where am I going with this?  Oh yeah….my love of reimagined, redefined ,and repurposed . And Chalk Painting!  How about that old metal wheel barrel?  The one we call yard art now!  We had an old orange one.  We used it for the garden, hauling each other around the yard,  and up and  down the street.  We washed our beloved dog, Sally in it.  Oh, it had a hole in the metal seam at the bottom.  Once filled, the water would run out.   So one of us would run in and grab someones chewed gum off kitchen counter sill and fill the hole with it.  And guess what?  It would hold water!  Now that my friends is problem solving!

My Mom was most affected by her childhood.  My dad not so much, at least he never shared it.  He was always trying to throw things out and my Mom was trying to hold on to them.  Always a bone of contention for sure.  I suffer from my Moms and my husband Steve suffers from my Dad’s.  Hmmmmm..? I always have to get a visual on that dump run…

Colored Chalk and your 64 color box of crayons.  Laying on the hot backyard patio after wading in the 3 foot blow up pool with your chalk color drawing,  mixing colors and having a field day with your imagination.  The box of crayons and the back side of a used (another sibs) piece of paper and drawing.  I am not one to color within the lines.  My one brother on the other hand,  drew the lines and to this day colors within them.  I never colored on walls, I was a quick learner having witnessed my sibs getting in trouble for having done just that!

Now I get to find and keep my old, rusty, dusty and reusable items.  I get to paint my walls using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I can paint whatever I want. I get to lay or sit on the cement and stencil a design.  Take a piece of furniture that would have been discarded and make it my own. Take old hardware and make a coat rack out of it. Turn it upside down, hang it on a wall, make it something it wasn’t intended to be.

Don’t let fear or limits hold you back!



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